I wanted to do some type of play dough/sensory activity with the infants and toddlers but didn’t have the time to make a batch of cooked dough. However, I did have some flour and baby oil to make cloud dough – such an easy recipe.
I starting adding flour to a bowl containing the baby oil. At first it was a little too sticky and wet so I added more flour. Then it was too dry – this was a problem because I had no more baby oil left. I considered other liquid options.
Vegetable oil would work but it would make the dough turn yellowish and I was hoping to keep it white for now. I wasn’t sure what plain water might do to the texture of the cloud dough and I didn’t want to experiment at the moment due to the limited time I had.
I decided to check the cupboards to see what other liquids I could find. First I had to wash the dry flour mixture off my hands though. As I rubbed my hands together with the soap and water I made a discovery. The white cream soap could be the perfect liquid for the dough.
It took a little trial and error to get the texture just right. Too dry – add more soap. Too wet – add more flour. I was slightly concerned that it may just be an endless cycle but it didn’t really take long to get the perfect consistency.
At first the toddlers only poked at it. Even with rolling pins and play dough tools they still prefer to simply poke the dough or tear off little pieces. I provided some tissue paper for them to tear up and add to their dough.
This was why I wanted to leave the dough white. I know when we use glue with tissue paper the dye from the paper tends to transfer onto hands and other surfaces. Usually I find this a little annoying but this time I thought it could be helpful. I hoped that as the children mixed little pieces of tissue paper to the dough the dye would spread through the dough.
It didn’t. I guess that the dough wasn’t wet enough to release the dye from the paper. The little flecks of colour still looked pretty and the children enjoyed adding the little paper pieces.
We also discovered that the addition of the cream soap instead of more baby oil made the dough stretchy. Wonderfully pliable without falling apart even when the infants waved it about;
Then I gave them each a small container. Their favorite activity is putting stuff in containers and taking it out again. This amused the little ones and extended the activity for much longer.
Even though it didn’t necessarily go as planned it was still a wonderful engaging activity.